September 23, 2021

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My new favorite genre of games: farming simulators

Approaching the end of my four-hour drive to my hometown this past summer, I rolled down my windows and listened to the wind blowing through the fields. My summer was packed with internships and classes, and despite the unfortunate reason for my trip to northern Michigan, this moment was serene. The urgency and constant movement that dominated my summer came to a pause in the warmth and silence of the swaying corn. The flat, quiet farmland vistas reminded me of the reality behind my new favorite genre of games: farming simulators.

In many ways, farming simulations, or sims, helped me achieve the peace I felt on that car ride in my everyday life through quicker, virtual means.

Farming sims are games in which the player typically grows and harvests crops, raises animals, and decorates their farm. There is also a large social component to most games in the genre, often involving both friendship and romance through a system of talking with the various townsfolk, giving them gifts and leveling up your relationship. These bonds and activities are not just vital to the experience of each game but have also helped me grow in unexpected ways in real life.